How to contact us for advice

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Our advice service

We provide advice to parents, grandparents, relatives, friends and kinship carers who are involved with children’s services in England or need their help. We can help you understand processes and options when social workers or courts are making decisions about your child’s welfare.

Our advice service is free, independent and confidential.

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By phone or email

To speak to an adviser, please call our free and confidential advice line 0808 801 0366 (Monday to Friday 9.30am to 3pm, excluding Bank Holidays). For Textphone dial 18001 followed by the advice line number. Or you can ask us a question via email using our advice enquiry form.

Discuss on our forums

Our online advice forums are an anonymous space where parents and kinship carers (also known as family and friends carers) can get legal and practical advice, build a support network and learn from other people’s experiences.

Advice on our website

Our get help and advice section describes the processes that you and your family are likely to go through, so that you know what to expect. Our webchat service can help you find the information and advice on our website which will help you understand the law and your rights.

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Children Act 2004

This Act places a duty on local authorities to work with other agencies for the benefit of children. For example it requires local authorities to work with the police, health services and youth offending teams. They should work together to promote the wellbeing of children and young people in their area. This is to help keep children safe. (Sections 10 and 11 of the Act provide this).

The Act places a duty on local authorities to appoint people who are accountable for the delivery of children’s services. This includes a director of children’s services. It also requires local authorities to appoint a lead member for children’s services. This person is an elected councillor. (Sections 18 and 19 of the Act provide this).

The Act required every local authority to set up a local safeguarding children board (Sections 13-16). It set out specific requirements of how that board should be made up. This requirement was changed by the Children and Social Work Act 2017. This 2017 Act allows more flexibility in how safeguarding arrangements are set up locally.

The Children Act 2004 also enabled the introduction of regulations to bring in a minimum fostering allowance. This is set out in Section 49 of the Act.

For more information see:

Children Act 2004

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